Festival Reports

17th Kolkata Film Festival

Aditya Monday November 28, 2011

The 17th Kolkata Film Festival was held from 10th to 17th November 2011 at Nandan Centre. Netac Jury was focused on the section Asian Select which comprised with the following 11 films. 

The Precinct (Azerbaijan) by IlgarSafat Gueririlla (Bangladesh) by NasiruddinYousuff Aftershock (China) by FengXiaogang A Meeting (Iran) by ShapoorGharib, AbbasRafei and HadiMoghadam-Doost The Story of Balgandharva (India) by Ravi Jadhav A Beautiful Life (Singapore) by Andrew Lau Dance Town (Korea) by JeonKyu-hwan Eternity (Thailand) by SivarojKongsakul Ok, Enough, Good Bye (Lebanon / UAE) by RaniaAttieh Bi, Don’t be Afraid! (Vietnam / France / Germany) by Phan Dang Di The Desire (India) by Nandita Roy

The Netpac Jury comprised with: Ashley Ratnavibhushana (Sri Lanka) – Chairperson Ms. Mara Matta (Italy) Nilotpal Majumdar (India)

Out of the 11 films Netpac Jury was concentrated on "The Precinct", a surrealistic film portrays the life of a photographer during the Soviet Regime of Azerbaijan, "Guerilla", a recreation of the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971, "Aftershock" which depicts the story of a family suffered during the devastating earthquake in Tangshan, China in 1976 and "Dance Town" examine the plight of a North Korean girl who illegally migrated to South. 

"Dance Town" is the third film by JeonKyu-Hwan who has made two films earlier "Mozart Town" and "Animal Town" "Guerrilla" is a landmark of Bangladesh Cinema directed by Nasiruddin Yousuffhas himself been a part of the 1971 war when he was a student at the University of Dhaka. The film captures the bloody war and genocide, which leads to the birth of a nation. Bangladesh has lost more than 3 million of lives and around 2 lakh of women were raped. Director has made this film in commemoration of the 40thAnniversary of the Bangladesh Independence.

The film narrates the tale of Bilkis Banu who turns a guerilla after her journalist husband is abducted and killed by the Pakistani Army in 1971. She leads a unit of freedom fighters, conducts raids on army and police camps, before eventually fleeing to a distant part of East Pakistan where his brother is being held captive. Bilkis is finally captured and killed. Actress Jaya Ahsan played a magnificent role as Bilkis. Kolkata is a non- competitive film festival since its inception but this year they have decided to institute a Netpac Jury to give the Award for the Best Asian film. By presenting the Netpac Award to "Guerrilla" the jury has mentioned, "for its brave attempt in recreating the untold truth of genocide happened during the Bangladesh Liberation War which has not been depicted so far in Cinema".

This is the first Bangladesh film won a Netpac Award.

Festival Report by: Ashley Ratnavibhushana

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